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Transient receptor potential or TRP channels are a family of loosely related ion channels that are non-selectively permeable to cations, including calcium and magnesium. TRP channels are so named because they were discovered in mutant drosophila that, instead of having sustained photoreceptor activity in response to light, have only a transient response to light. Most TRP channels are comprised of 6 membrane-spanning helices with intracellular N- and C-termini. TRP channels are activated and regulated by a wide variety of stimuli and are expressed widely throughout the body.


They are encoded by at least 33 channel subunit genes divided into seven sub-families:

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